Category Archives: REGULATIONS

Government’s plan to spy on all Australians exposed in leaked letters

It may shortly be far easier for government spies to access your private data. Photo source: Pixabay

We’re constantly being advised to protect our data and information online, but it turns out there may be even a greater threat & cause for concern.

An exclusive report by The Sunday Telegraph reveals our online data may not even be safe from the Australian Government. Australian citizens may soon be subjected to secret digital monitoring by the top cyber spy agency in the country with no warrant rerquired for accessing all your info when they feel like it.

This means everything from text messages to emails and even bank statements could be accessed in secret under the radical new proposed plan. The Sunday Telegraph viewed the secret letters between the heads of Department of Home Affairs and Defence. The letters detail possible new powers for the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

As the current rules stand, intelligence is not to be produced on Australian citizens. Having said that, the Australian Federal Police and domestic spy agency ASIO can investigate people with a warrant and also seek help from the ASD if needed in what are deemed to be extreme cases.

If the proposal is passed, it would be up to Defence Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to allow spying to occur. Furthermore, they could approve cases without Australia’s top law officers being aware of it.

The Sunday Telegraph believes Dutton hasn’t yet presented Payne with any formal proposals for changes to the legislation. If passed though, spies would be given permission to secretly access information relating to an Australian citizens’ financial data, health information and phone records. A change in law would mean it’s also illegal for government agencies and private businesses to hold back any information that could hinder the security measures.

The Sunday Telegraph believes the reason for the data crackdown would be to stop terrorism, child exploitation and other serious crimes being conducted both here in Australia and overseas.

Several times in recent months online data and its safety has made headlines. Earlier this year, Facebook came under fire for breaching privacy data rules. As it stands, anything you share or access online remains there, even if you delete it.

This means any photos, emails, website history, online comments and videos you upload or view are stored away somewhere in cyberspace. Worryingly, any information shared on a social media platform such as Facebook will remain with the company, even if your profile is deleted.

What are your thoughts? Have you concerns that your private information could be secretly accessed by spies and the government? Do you think it’s really to protect Australians, or just another feeble excuse for the government to gain more information about us? Big brother is going too far this time one would think. Write to your MP.

Henry Sapiecha

Perhaps New Government enforced Cyber Security Regulations should be in place?

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If President Barrack Obama has his way, companies may soon have new cybersecurity regulations to deal with.

In light of breaches at companies like Home Depot and Target, the president is proposing legislation that would require companies to inform their customers whether their data has been compromised within 30 days called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act.  The act would also make it a crime to sell customers’ identities overseas.

While it is unclear whether or not any legislation will be passed, it is worth keeping an eye on for the business continuity community.

At the very least, this bill is going to result in a new federal regulation to comply with in the event it is passed.  It is too early in the game to tell what exactly those regulations will be, as the act will likely undergo changes before it goes to a vote, but it is entirely possible that companies will need to make some changes to their current plans or programs.  Even if a company already has a policy about notifying customers about their data being in jeopardy, new federal regulations will require action.

It seems as if the government is beginning to take cyber security more seriously.  With all the major data breaches last year, including the Sony hack that has since been traced to North Korea, it is clear that cyber threats aren’t going away anytime soon.  Whether or not the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act becomes the law of the land, it’s time for businesses to seriously start looking at their cyber security policies and making sure they are up to date.

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Henry Sapiecha